Saturday, July 23, 2005

"Beat Surrender"

What a way to go! With the benefit of hindsight, this was a perfect hint of what was to come from Paul Weller. The Jam were always about vignettes of London, snatches of life at the wrong end of the Tory food chain, serious, earnest and biting. But as The Jam's career wound to a close, there were signs of what was uppermost in Weller's mind. And in this final song he came closest to that crossover point. The urgency of the Jam, coloured and textured with the brassy soul that was to be the trademark of the Style Council.
This song is a farewell, a valedictory. It's triumphant, secure, refusing to look back and keen to continue its journey. It's a clarion call, a rally to the flag of youth and energy, an invitation to lose yourself in the moment. It's hard not to be sucked into the seductive simplicity of the lyric: "All the things that I shout about (but never act upon)/All the courage and the dreams that I have (but seem to wait so long)/My doubt is cast aside, watch phonies run to hide/The dignified don't even enter in the game." It's about the feeling of power, the potential, and knowing that whatever you do, you will remain strong.

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